If you’re wondering whether or not a corporate gifting program is appropriate for this odd year, the answer is yes!
In today’s times of working from home and virtual conferences, it’s more important than ever to create personal connections and engage your clients and employees. They want to know they are being thought of and that they are appreciated.
For many businesses, planning the annual corporate gifting program can be stressful. There are many things to consider such as budget, the gift itself, and even the logistics of how gifts will be delivered, particularly since the workforce may be remote this year.
But it’s important to remember that in corporate gifting, the gift itself is never the principal message. Rather the gift is a tangible asset that helps communicate the message of appreciation, thoughtfulness and connection. It’s not surprising to hear that when recipients note a business gift as memorable, the gift’s return on investment increases by 40 percent!
As we enter this gift-giving season, we want to share 7 habits of thoughtful gift-givers to help your company stand out from the crowd:
Simply put, don’t wait until the last minute to plan and execute your corporate gifting program. There are two main benefits to planning ahead: you have more gift options to choose from and you save on budget by not having to utilize rush shipping. If you haven’t gotten started on your gifting program this year, begin now.
Don’t focus on the cost.
Consider how much you routinely spend taking a client out for a nice meal or entertainment. Yet, when it comes to gifts, businesses tend to figure out how little they can spend. Particularly since many companies are forgoing large holiday gatherings this year, use that budget toward “first-class” gifts for your employees and VIP clients.
Consider the usefulness of the gift.
A practical gift is one that shows thoughtfulness because it can be used year-round. Our best advice: Avoid poor-quality items that can easily break or one-time use products and your gift will be repurposed throughout the year!
Make it personal.
If you prefer not to put your company logo front and center on a product, you can still offer a gentle reminder of who the gift came from by adding your logo on a subtle location on the gift. Another way to personalize and make the recipient feel special is by printing the recipient’s name or family name on the product. Personalization shows that you took time to personally think of the recipient and that gift is not part of mass distribution.
Think about the presentation.
Creating a memorable unboxing experience shows that you put thought into the gift from beginning to end. How the gift is presented to your recipient is just as important as the gift itself. Many components go into the presentation of a gift, from the packaging to gift wrap and even a personal greeting or tag.
Make it easy to receive.
Because many in the workforce are still working from home, getting a pleasant surprise in the mailbox or on the doorstep can make a person’s day. Using a shipping partner to deliver your gift directly to the recipient pays off as it shows consideration and thoughtfulness.
Enjoy the gift of gift-giving.
A thoughtful gift giver does not think about what he or she will get in return. Gift-giving is about showing that you thought about them enough to take time and money to purchase a gift. You do it because you want to show your gratitude and not because you expect something in return.
Gift-giving is an important part of the human experience. The act of giving helps define our relationships, strengthens our bonds and reinforces our feelings toward the recipient.
When it comes to giving business gifts, the results are the same: it builds and strengthens relationships with your employees, customers and vendors. It’s a way to recognize an employee who has met or exceeded his or her sales goal; thank a customer who has supported your business year-round; and show appreciation to a stakeholder who has invested in your company.
The holiday season is a great time to show your employees that they are an important asset to your business and recognize individuals who have achieved goals or milestones.
Studies reveal that 79 percent of people who quit their jobs cite ‘lack of appreciation’ as their reason for leaving. And a startling 65 of Americans in the workforce report that they weren’t recognized even once last year.
Feeling appreciated or being recognized has been proven to change an employee’s mentality from “My efforts will get me by,” to “I’m dedicated, committed and motivated to do my best at my job.”
It’s also important to remember that recognizing employees should be an ongoing effort and not limited only to the holiday season. Also, there are many ways for an employer to use corporate gifting to build up, fuel and recognize employees.
Showing customers your appreciation can greatly influence their loyalty and advocacy, which in turn leads to customer retention and increased sales. Keeping your customers happy is about making them feel like you care about them, valued and appreciated.
This is the foundation of a customer appreciation strategy.
While there are many ways to show appreciation to customers, corporate gifting is easy to implement as part of your customer appreciation strategy. If you take care of your customers, they will take care of your business.
Here are a few other ways to thank customers:
Offer a loyalty program with tiered rewards
Make a donation in their honor
Treat customers to a complimentary upgrade
Send a handwritten note.
The Power of Personalization
In today’s world, where the prevalence of personalization is so prominent in our daily lives, personalization should also play a part in a company’s corporate gifting strategy. One of the most popular ways to personalize, or customize, a gift is by adding your company logo or brand on the gifting product.
A business gift customized with your company logo can benefit both your employees and customers. Because your employees have a stronger emotional connection to your company and brand as they are a part of the daily business, branded gifts offer meaning and significance to your workforce.
For your customers, when a business gift that has value and use (versus a generic item) and it includes branding, nearly nine out of 10 recipients are able to remember the branding eight in 10 can recall messaging from at least one branded product they received (Source: Promotional Products Association International).
It is important to remember that a corporate gift should be carefully thought through. After all, it is an investment the company is making towards strengthening its relationship with clients, employees, investors and partners. When emotions are at the heart of the relationships between brands and consumers, they steer conscious decisions and drive unconscious decisions.
A well-considered corporate gifting program can help celebrate employees for a job well done, establish and enhance your customer and vendor relationships, and promote activities that benefit the overall business.
When choosing the perfect gift for your corporate gifting program this year, we put together our top three things to start thinking about before the flurry of activities hits the holiday season:
High-End or Budget?
Even if you are the most generous person in the world, you are still operating a business within a budget. Whether you go luxury, conventional or somewhere in-between, don’t think you have to choose a high-end gift just because it costs more. Do it because you think that’s the gift the other person will appreciate. If luxury is the route you choose and budget is a concern, narrow your recipient list.
Company Logo and Customization.
To logo or not to logo, that is the question. For many businesses, customized gifts keep the company name in the minds of recipients. When the item is practical and likely to be used every day – such as a calendar, pen, coffee mug, or tote bag – this amounts to free daily advertising. But there’s a tackiness quotient to consider.
We call this the unboxing experience. The unboxing experience triggers emotions and senses when the recipient opens the gift. The packaging, the gift wrap, the ribbon all matter. When done right, it can improve the way the recipient feels about the actual product because first impressions matter.
Personalization is the way of the future, at least according to Apple. At the Apple event earlier this week, the tech giant launched Apple Watch Studio, which lets you mix and match Apple Watch casings and straps to get the exact look that you want.
Taking it a step further, add your company logo or a custom design opens a branding opportunity for your business. It’s a gift-giving opportunity for your employees or a way to say “thank you” to a vendor or client.
Custom branding options on the Apple Watch:
Company or recipient name on the blank side of the case
Logo or design on the Watch button
Custom design or logo etched on the Sport Bands
Color logo or design on the charger
Being able to choose the material, style and color of your Apple Watch case and bands, there are over a 1,000 different watch customization options. Being able to add your own logo or design, the possibilities are endless. There is truly a watch for everyone.